It was January 6th, 2004 and I was officially 2 days overdue. Other than having spent our entire dinner at Applebee’s the night before in the bathroom, I was feeling pretty good. I had a routine doctor’s appointment to discuss exactly how long they were going to let me be overdue before they induced. My appointment was around 11am so Ed and I had a quick breakfast at home and headed over there.
At my OBGYN office, anytime you are seeing the doctor over the midwife, there is a wait. We waited nearly two hours before we saw her. She asked a lot of questions about how I was feeling before she even checked me. When she did check me, she looked up in amazement and asked if I was sure that I wasn’t having contractions. I told her that I didn’t think so, and she said “well you’re 5cm!!” She decided to do an ultrasound to see what was going on with the baby, and again there was a wild and surprised look on her face.
“This baby is at least 9 lbs.”, she said. “You need to go to the hospital!!”
She then gave me a 15 minute lecture about how my worst fear might come true; I may have to have a c-section. I felt all of the color drain from my face and I felt like I was going to throw up. When you’ve been told since you were 15 years old that you have “the perfect hips for birthing”, the thought of a C-section never comes in to play. For my entire pregnancy, I never even considered that I would have a c-section. Much like the day that I was told I was going to have a baby, I was in shock. I walked out of the doctor’s office barely hearing her call after me “Make sure you don’t eat anything in case we do the c- section! Have them call me when you get to the hospital!”
As soon as we got in the car, I lost it. I sobbed hysterically. I couldn’t breath. I made Ed call Marisa at work to tell her everything, and then I got on the phone and blubbered to her. I know that I called my parents, but I can’t remember speaking to either of them. I was sure that I was having a nervous breakdown. I had just about calmed down when we got home, but as soon as we got in the house and started getting my stuff together, I was hysterical again. I went in the bathroom to compose myself, and Ed took this wonderful picture of me:
We left the house around 3:00PM and had to run a few errands, stop at the bank, etc. It was going on 6 hours since I had eaten and Ed was hungry too. He grabbed some food and we were at the hospital by about 5:30 PM.
As soon as we were checking in, they got me hooked up to the pitocin, which immediately gave me intense contractions. It was about 2 hours before I was in tears and needed the epidural, the greatest invention I know of. Marisa and George, my parents and Ed’s mother were in and out of the room. Marisa had to work the next day, so when things weren’t happening, they left around 10PM. Very soon after that it was time to push. I can’t remember anything that happened during the pushing phase other than telling Ed that if he put one more FUCKING ice chip in my mouth, I would strangle him. I pushed until about midnight before I overheard the doctor saying she wouldn’t let me push much longer. I had a renewed strength at that point because there was no way I was going through all of this crap just to be cut open, and started pushing like a crazy person after that. The problem: Eddie was posterior or sunny side up. After another 2 hours, his head was nearly out but we needed some help. (Apparently, all of the tearing didn’t help at all) Ed describes my episiotomy with great detail. “They both had a pair of scissors in each hand! They snipped you everywhere!” They ended up using the vacuum and finally, after 4 hours of pushing, I had my baby boy!
Edmund Mason, Jr. was born at 2:13 AM January 7, 2004. He weighed 10lbs 2oz and was 23 inches long. We couldn’t believe how much he looked exactly like his daddy.
I had never been happier. Ed held him while I was being stitched up and then the neonatal doctor took him to be checked out because of his size. His blood sugar was a bit low, so they took him upstairs and gave him some sugar water in a bottle. By the time I was in my room and slept for about 30 minutes, he was ok, and ready to nurse.
Now everything that I ever read said that babies are not hungry at birth; it takes them a few days to have that kick in. Eddie was ravenous when he was born. He nursed every 2 hours like clockwork the entire time we were in the hospital. So I would nurse for an hour, sleep for an hour nurse again…and so on. I couldn’t believe what I had signed on for.
Our second night in the hospital was the worst. First of all, I was more sore, and sore in the oddest places, than I had ever been in my entire life. Then I was more exhausted than I had ever been, and in the middle of the night, my 1-day-old baby forgot how to nurse. I couldn’t get him to latch on, he was screaming, and I was crying hysterically. I called the nursery and sobbed/screamed in to the phone that someone needed to come and help me. I think they thought I hurt the baby because they were down there so fast. And there I was, half naked on the bed, trying to get him to take a boob, just defeated. And you know what? The nurses acted like I was normal; like it was no big deal. They brought in some sugar water and helped me get him going. The whole nursing thing went reasonable well after that.
I loved staying in the hospital. We had tons of visitors, and Eddie was a hit. I had my fill of hospital food (which I love because I’m a F R E A K) and also my gourmet dinner. The nurses in the nursery loved him, and my favorite one, an older Indian woman, showed him off to all of the girl babies and thought about which one would be his girlfriend. (She kissed him on the head on her last shift before we left and whispered “I will see you back in a year or so with a baby sister” which is just way too weird) Nurses and doctors from all over the hospital came to meet me because I was the girl that pushed out the 10 lb posterior baby. In fact, on our way out to go home, our delivery room nurse introduced me to the patient she was walking out as “the girl I told you about, with the 10 lb baby.”
And home we went to start our life as a family. Having a baby was the best thing I ever did, and I had never felt more fulfilled as a person than when I became a mother. All of the misery of pregnancy and the horrendous delivery were worth it; worth it enough to do it again……and maybe even again some day.